WESTERN Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said he was 'pleased' rather than relieved to get back into the winner's circle with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.
Winless in three games, the Wanderers got their 2013/14 Hyundai A-League campaign back on track courtesy of Mark Bridge's 33rd minute header.
The victory sees the reigning premiers solidify their grip on second spot and keep pace with league leaders the Brisbane Roar.
"I was pleased," Popovic said after the match. "I am pleased for the players because they have performed well and they haven't got the rewards in the last three weeks in terms of wins.
"There is a lot of belief in that dressing room. And I am really pleased that they performed well again in difficult conditions.
"It was really windy out there at times against a team full of confidence. It was a fantastic win."
Jets coach Gary van Egmond said after the match he thought referee Jarred Gillett had missed a blatant foul by Wanderers striker Labinot Haliti on Jets defender Jacob Pepper that led to the Western Sydney goal.
However, Popovic thought otherwise.
"As a winning coach you are always going to say it was a legitimate goal," Popovic said of the incident.
"We didn't think there was much in it. I don't know if the decision went our way or not.
"To be honest I only saw it live – I didn't see any replays – but watching it live I thought it was a goal."
The Wanderers coach did say that he thought his side was perhaps unfortunate to not benefit from an incident early in the first half where Newcastle goal-keeper Mark Birighitti handled outside the area, scooping a through ball off the feet of Haliti.
Birighitti was shown a yellow card for the incident when Popovic thought it could have easily been red.
"That is a tough one because, is he denying a goal-scoring opportunity and if he is, then it should be a red card," Popovic said.
"At that time we felt he (Birighitti) was doing that. The referee deemed it differently.
"In the end it didn't matter which was fortunate that we don't have to talk about the referees over a good game of football, which it was."